For the viewpoint of my travel partner, check out her Live Journal.
Day One   Day Two   Day Three   Day Four

What can I say about Amsterdam? The place goes high on my list of places to recommend. for travels. It was my first time there, but definitely not my last!

It started at Dulles Airport, and it was a slow start. To quote the captain. "We are sorry for the delay, one of the passengers who checked in and checked luggage has not made i to the plane. We will take off as soon as we get their luggage off the plane." GOOD CALL!!

Sad to say, it was during this long flight to the east that KLM knocked Lufthansa of the top spot as worse international carrier I know. They were friendlier than Lufthansa, but the seats were extremely uncomfortable. Once we landed, Schiphol made it's opening bid to be considered the rudest airport in the world. That was the bad... all else was GREAT!!

      This trip was with one of my closest friends of many may years. It was her first time ever leaving the country, and it was a great choice to begin a hobby of international travels. The well organized travel partner.                                     
Day one had us recovering from the plane ride. We managed to get out of Schiphol. (THE RUDEST AIRPORT IN EXISTENCE) and into town. Once we got to Central Station, the rudeness ended, and the fun began.
One real nice thing about  Holland is the way Art is inherent in almost every place you look. Check out the Big Ol' Clock Tower at Central Station. It Ain't a Clock!!
OK, maybe you do not see it as Art, but Art, as Beauty, is in the eye of the Beholder.
As I said, Amsterdam, and Holland in general is an artistic country. Finally we made it to our hotel, the NH Tropen. Too early to check in, but they kindly let us drop of our luggage. We checked out the park next to our hotel.Then we headed (further) into town. First to the Muziek Theater.

Music to bring down the house.

Why? To get some tickets to the Dutch National Ballet! Really... me.. the ballet. Sheez. A local magazine said "Pulchinella" was playing, and Michele wanted to see it. It was almost sold out, but we still managed to get some pretty good seats. 

After that we and checked out Rembrandt's house.

   An artistic residence  

After the house, back onto the streets. I think now is a good time to point out one possible reason why Amsterdam seemed so great. There was nothing obvious, I guess you could say it was something in the air.

This Ain't Starbucks!

See, when you see a coffee house, that is not all they sale.Yah, let's see Starbuck's compete with this coffee house. Yep, can you say CONTACT BUZZ!!

Next we hit one of Holland's premier chocolate stores. (Sorry ladies, no pictures) Then we made out way to the Joods Historich Museum, in English, the Jewish Historical Museum. I fear there is little I can say about this place, blame it on falling asleep!! Now even though this place was part of Michele's heritage, she took pity on my stumbling and we went back to the Tropen to check in.

Next, the experienced international traveler passed out, and Michele, that novice international traveler headed over to the Tropen Museum, which strangely enough was located next to the NH Tropen hotel. She got back to the hotel and we headed back to the Amsterdam Muziek Theatre. Now itwas time for Michele to take a nap. She made it through the first act, snored through the second, and was once again revived by the third act began. 

Day 2:

Now a little in sync with local time, we woke up early, and headed into town to get to The Anne Frank House. Even 15 minutes before it opened the line was long. 

A house, a refuge, a tale to be told.    Anne Frank close to her home.

It was an interesting experience. Pictures were not allowed, and amazingly, I was one of the few people there who actually paid attention to the warning signs. It is interesting to walk through a world famous place where a young girl hid for two years while the world was torn apart  by war.
It was a learning experience. There were some interesting issues that occurred just before departing, but they are for telling at another time. I will admit I did pick up a copy of her diary before we left. I have never read it, and what better place to get it? Kinda like picking up the "Mists of Avalon" from Glastonbury Abbey.

After the house we did some planned wandering ended up at the Nieuw Kerk (New Church) and checked out an exhibit from the Hermitage on Love. Now Picture of the exhibit were not allowed, but pictures of the church were, and no surprise, it was some impressive architecture.

   Impressive Organ. Called Tigger. «snicker»   An admiral at rest.

 City Hall/ the Dam Palace was next. Right next to Nieuw Kerk, it was impressive on the outside, and continued to be so when first you entered. 

  A good night shot.  

Then we went up one level and the WOW factor went up significantly!
Awesome palace.   Same verse, reverse of the first.   In the palace.

Just little bits and pieces. I am off to Vienna for a week, so the rest of the tale will have to wait.


      Typical Scenery   The fun loving West Church.   Inside Riker's Museum
         Living Statue.
Deep Thoughts        
  Dogs rule in Amsterdam, but not as much as Austria. So much to choose from.  
A taste of true Holland. Rijks in full.
Tigger climbs the twer.  A small part, but all we got.  Looking to get stuffed in the Red Light District  I claim this castle in the name of Pooh!!  I wonder when confession is open.
Pure art.  Flowers and monsters and flowers galore!!!  Looked good to me.  Justice with time watching on.  Holland is a land of art in all ways.

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